I would run for presidency - Mawarire

HARARE - Anti-president Robert Mugabe campaign leader Evan Mawarire has said he would consider running for presidency in 2018, if asked.

However, the cleric — who is currently on $300 bail over a case in which he faces charges of attempting to subvert a constitutionally elected government — said he will not transform his #ThisFlag movement into a political party.

“If the opportunity presents itself . . . why not?” Mawarire said after he was asked about his presidential aspirations during an interview on Thursday.

“I don’t want to close the door on myself,” he added.

He said “let people be allowed to do things that they feel and see if they will be able to bring change”.

With less than a year to Zimbabwe’s eighth presidential election, speculation has been mounting over what role Mawarire — whose Internet video campaign inspired unprecedented protests against soon-to-be 93-year-old Mugabe last year — will play.

Mawarire — who was arrested at the Harare International Airport early this month upon his surprise return from self-exile in the United States (US) — said even if he was to run for presidency, #ThisFlag would “continue as a citizen movement that is not aligned to any individual’s aspirations”.

“It’s important for uniting Zimbabweans from as many departure points as possible. We may come from different schools of thought in our religion but when it comes to our nation, we have to have a convergence zone, we may come different departure points when it comes to political schools of thought but when it comes to Zimbabwe, we must have a convergence zone . . . and the citizen movement allows for that space.”

Mawarire left the country six months ago for the US, claiming that his life was in danger.

Apart from the charge of attempting to subvert a constitutionally elected government, Mawarire is also accused of inciting public violence and insulting the national flag.

His departure for the US ignited heated debate, with ordinary citizens questioning why he left when the movement he had initiated had reached its peak.

But Mawarire said he did not regret leaving Zimbabwe.

“Absolutely not,” he said.

“I would not change a thing. When you are thinking of your family . . . you are not trying to please anyone else . . . This was for them.

“So, I am glad we moved at the time we did because it was just in time before any of them got hurt,” he said.

“I understand the sense of disappointment . . . but when things happened at that time, I can’t say I was not afraid. So definitely that fear was there.”

Mawarire added he never sought asylum in the US.

Comments (10)

Ok so that is the reason why he just came back fast fast bcoz he thinks organizing few demos can make him president . Heeeey but zimbos are not so cheap .It seems one was lying to him that he has support that can earn him presidential job and he believed shows how power hungry he is . I still believe that he is doing cio project to try and split votes so zanu can stay in power .

Diibulaanyika - 18 February 2017

All opposition parties (never mind wether they are fake or true) should rally behind Mawarire. If he gonna be the CIO that buries Zanu-PF then good for Zimbabwe. First step first: destroy Zanu-PF.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 18 February 2017

The only noble and logical move he can do is be a member of an opposition party of his choice. If he decides to run for presidency,it would be a miscalculation, just like he did ran away and delivered his sympathizers' heads to Herodias in a silver plate. It seems the pastor is failing to read the mood of us whom he left to the mercy of ZanuPF. If he decides to contest for the presidency,its his constitutional right, but I do not see him garnering any significant figure. You see, he is blundering because by doing what he planning to do will be him supporting the strategy of ZanuPF and Mugabe of defeating the idea of a coalition mooted by opposition parties. Some us are still angry with what he said concerning his abandoning the struggle he had ushered the people into and ran away to USA. That popularity has waned and sublimed into nothing tangible. The mojo has gone forever. Whoever is fooling him to run for presidency is being unfair to the pastor.

Gandanga - 18 February 2017

The only noble and logical move he can do is be a member of an opposition party of his choice. If he decides to run for presidency,it would be a miscalculation, just like he did ran away and delivered his sympathizers' heads to Herodias in a silver plate. It seems the pastor is failing to read the mood of us whom he left to the mercy of ZanuPF. If he decides to contest for the presidency,its his constitutional right, but I do not see him garnering any significant figure. You see, he is blundering because by doing what he planning to do will be him supporting the strategy of ZanuPF and Mugabe of defeating the idea of a coalition mooted by opposition parties. Some us are still angry with what he said concerning his abandoning the struggle he had ushered the people into and ran away to USA. That popularity has waned and sublimed into nothing tangible. The mojo has gone forever. Whoever is fooling him to run for presidency is being unfair to the pastor.

Gandanga - 18 February 2017

Evans Mawarire failed to realized that some of the people who pretended to sympathize with him were CIO operatives. These were the same people who advised him to run away so that he would lose his popularity. All those demonstrations against Mugabe in New York was organized by the OPC with the blessing of none other than Mugabe himself. These are the very people who advised him to come back and arrested him at the airport. This is a dramatized 'Jesus' last supper scenario.Jesus went to Jerusalem knowing very well that he was going to be arrested. This is exactly how Mugabe has tricked Mawarire. I do not deny that Mawarire was popular, he was, but became a disappointment when he ran away from his supporters. Running for presidency now, announcement must never be entertained. To say that to people who still angry with what he did, shows that the pastor is not remorseful at all. If he has apologized then he should wait for people's responses. We cannot be taken for fools. Forming a political party and run for presidency is meant to divide opposition votes which real will favIour the fractured ZanuPF. Like I said, this is the work of CIO operatives coming to him as one of his sympathizers. The CIOs are the very organization which a faceless mole going by the name BABA JUKWA, who abandoned followers on the eve of the 2013 harmonized elections. I have lost trust in this guy, he must concentrate in the Biblical issues.

Jonathiel Moyowaonda - 18 February 2017

If Mawarire ran for presidency he will become insignificant. For now he is not presidential material at all!

Regalia - 19 February 2017

Hahahaha who for President, I think this country needs to be taken seriously. Evan is just a desperate character, I am told he is naturally a power hungry character, he wants to be at the top, sadly not as president count me out.Zimbabweans we are being taken for granted. Another Arthur Mutambara, register your party and contest 2018, you wont even get 5000 votes.

Tariro Shumba - 19 February 2017

The political environment and landscape does not fit or favour an independent presidential candidate at this point in time. The so called political advisers in this country are just too bad. People stood by the pastor because they shared the same beliefs, cause and values. When it comes to the ballot its something else. Pastor should wait and be patient and continue fighting for democracy.

X-MAN IV - 19 February 2017

Brother we really appreciate yr contribution towards the struggle,, but u are not a man enough for the job.Most of the people who participated during yr demonstration went to jail yet u the leader left them behind,, that was selfishness. Taking only yr family & ran away,,what about those who sympathized with u,u just left them stranded without a leader.That only doesn't qualify u to be a leader.As a pastor u should know better. Forget about politics & for us on religion

Matsotsi - 19 February 2017

Lumumba , Mawarire (and Mliswa) are failed CIO projects , period .

Amai Mandigona - 20 February 2017

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